This is an activity to be done at the END of a unit on Cells. This is a VERY easy writing assignment for students, even for those who don't normally like to write.
This assignment has students do a pre-writing activity called a "cluster." Comes with a student handout with directions for writing the essay and an example cluster, as well as an example written essay. Also included is a blank cluster page for the students to fill in to prepare to write their essays. Again, as this is done at the end of the cells unit, the students should have lots to discuss about cells.
Students will begin this assignment by completing a pre-writing activity called a cluster. They will brainstorm what they know about cells. Once the cluster has been completed, students will take the brainstorm information and write an essay about cells. The must use the words they wrote from their brainstorm in order. I used this assignment as one method of assessment to establish what information students had learned. This can even be used in place of a test for students with high test anxiety etc.
This project meets the following California State Science Standards:
1. All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillions, whose details usually are visible only through a microscope. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know cells function similarly in all living organisms.
b. Students know the characteristics that distinguish plant cells from animal cells,
including chloroplasts and cell walls.
c. Students know the nucleus is the repository for genetic information in plant and animal cells.
d. Students know that mitochondria liberate energy for the work that cells do and that chloroplasts capture sunlight energy for photosynthesis.